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News From Around The World: Switzerland

Sustainably maintaining World Heritage

Rhaetian Railway stands for the pioneering days of railway engineering. Between the Glacier Express and panoramic trains, a new motor tower car climbs the unique tunnels and viaducts.

Since the autumn of 2016, a new vehicle supports the Catenary Department of Rhaetian Railway. On the single-track lines, the immediate repair of malfunctions has top priority.

Further improving the well proven. The tight clearance gauge on the 1,000 m gauge track and the existing infrastructure, for instance the turntable in the depot in Landquart and transfer tables, defined the dimensions of the new MTW 24402. Already in 2007, Plasser & Theurer supplied a four-­axled MTW for the special requirements in the Swiss Alps. 

Our design engineers further developed the existing drafts. While the wheel-base remained unchanged, the cabin was extended by 620 mm to improve the use of space. The tight curve radii make it impossible to extend the space between the bogies. 

The two diesel engines are of the latest generation achieving outputs of 448 kW each. On lines with gradients of up to 70 ‰, not only the tractive force, but also the reliability of the braking system is crucial. Therefore, the machine was fitted with three systems: 

  • compressed-air brake
  • vacuum brake for trailer vehicles
  • magnetic rail brake for the use on steep gradients 

The wheel slide protection prevents the wheels from uneven wear and blocking, similar to the ABS known from cars.

Over the past years, the MTW 24401 (the first vehicle supplied in 2007, editorial comment) has been doing a good job in the renewal and maintenance but also in the repair of malfunctions. The machine is operated on the 1,000 narrow gauge network of Rhaetian Railway at 300 to 2,000 m above sea level. On all line sections, the MTW stands out due to its reliability and versatility.

Thanks to the acquisition of an additional vehicle for the installation of the overhead line, the machine fleet of Rhaetian Railway can meet today’s requirements and handles all tasks of the Catenary Department. Using these vehicles, malfunctions can be remedied efficiently and quickly, even on very challenging track sections.